Fiber-Guided Atomic States in Hollow Fiber May Be Key to Next-Gen Atomic Clocks.
(ArsTechnica) Researchers have recently demonstrated that matter can be guided down an optical fiber without losing its quantum state, opening up the possibility of combining the best properties of light and matter. There are many sensing applications, like magnetic field sensors or vibration sensors, that might gain a lot from using the quantum states of matter as a probe. Not only that, atomic clocks might benefit from moving from fountains to atoms being moved around a track.
That is a very impressive achievement. To put it in perspective, most matter transport experiments move clouds of atoms a few millimeters at most—now we have something a factor of 100 better. Even more important for sensing applications, the further you can transport a quantum state, the better. Essentially, distance and sensitivity are related (this is why gravitational wave observatories are several kilometers in size). Now we are on the verge of having matter guides that can gain sensitivity through distance as well.